Is Massaging a Split Muscle Breast Implant Recommended?

I recently got a split-muscle BA on 1/31 and I was curious if massaging is recommended for this type of implant placemen? Since its neither subpectoral or subglandular it's actually kind of similar to both is there a specific way to massage with this placement? My breast feel very tight, when I do massage them they feel better, so please let me know if there is a technique I can try safely!! And when is it a good time to start massaging because I've only had mine for a week

Doctor Answers 10

Advice on massaging after split muscle breast augmentation

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Several aspects to your question require clarification: First, there are 2 reasons why massage is done. One is to help the implants settle in the right position and minimize muscle spasm that can occur. This will depend on the advice of your surgeon. The other is to prevent capsular contracture, which massage does not. Second, (this is mostly for the others who have posted replies,) the split muscle method is not the same as dual plane; it has upper pole coverage from the portion originating from the sternum but leaves the lower portion of the pectoral muscle behind the implant without cutting the attachment to the chest wall. It is done to minimize the risk of animation deformity, which occurs in more than 75% of dual plane augmentations.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Breast Implant Massage

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Hello Mittens,

There is actually Level II (nearly the best type of scientific evidence) proof to the contrary, that breast implant massage offers no reduction in risk to capsular contracture, and offers very little else except giving the patient the feeling they are proactively 'doing something' good.

Like many other surgeons in the last decade, I have stopped telling my patients to massage their implants, and my rate of capsular contracture has decreased.  This is not because they don't massage, this is because of other things that I've instituted over the years that are actually significant in lowering all risks of complications.

In terms of surgeon to surgeon politics, you should consult with yours to make sure this is something he wants.  

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Is Massaging a Split Muscle Breast Implant Recommended?

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Massage is recommended by most surgeons regardless of implant position. As a rule there is not much need to vary technique, although for submuscular implants I usually advise downward and inward massage for a few months until the implants have settled and the pectoral muscles have accommodated. 

It would be best to ask your own surgeon's massage instructions! Thanks, best wishes for an uneventful recovery. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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Massage and Hard Breasts

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   After surgery, massage may be helpful in allowing the implants to drop and to reduce muscle spasm.  No implants are completely submuscular.  As such, dual plane is no different in this respect.  Ask your plastic surgeon about personal preferences.  I am not sure that any plastic surgeon believes that massage reduces the risk of capsular contracture.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Massage after breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question.If you find that your breast is tight and particularly if you went up a few cup sizes, then breast massage will help your implants settle. I typically recommend waiting a week as it sooner may be too uncomfortable. However, if you can tolerate it earlier, then you can do so. I also recommend lymphatic massage as this helps to reduce swelling much faster in the breast.
As far as how to massage, I recommend displacing the implant in all four directions (up, down, left and right). Example, pinch the breast on the top to displace the implant downwards. For the lymphatic massage, it is much more of a light gentle touch. We often recommend a massage therapist to help with this or we show patients how to do this at home. You can repeat this several times a day for the first several months.

Massage after split muscle technique

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It really is best to ask your surgeon  to see if you should be massaging your breasts.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

To massage or not to massage post augmentation

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Thank you for your question. I beleive you had a dual plane augmentation from your description. There's no scientific proof that massaging works. I tell this to my patients and I ask them to start massaging about 7-10 days postop. Will it help? I don't know. Can it cause harm? No. I tell patients to massage in the shower, helps relax the muscles better. Should massage downward and toward the cleavage. Discuss this with your operative surgeon and his/her philosophy on this.

Breast implant massage

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There is little consensus or science behind implant massage after augmentation. From your description, it sounds like you mean you had a dual plane technique augmentation which is very common.  Follow your physicians recommendations regarding massage.

I personally feel that implant massage probably has no value at all.  The only reason I still ask patients to do it is that I am hesitant to change something that has been working well for years.  I think there are much more important measures to prevent capsular contracture .

I limit massage to the first 3 months after augmentation.

York Yates MD, Utah. 

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 189 reviews

Massage After Breast Augmentation

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Dear Mittens:

Please check with your surgeon for guidance regarding postoperative massage. Instructions for postoperative activity will vary from surgeon to surgeon, depending upon his or her technique, experience, and preferences.

Best of luck with your recovery.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD 


Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Massage may help lessen contracture

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Although massage may help lessen the risk of capsular contracture, this has never been proven, so recommendations differ among surgeons - best to ask the surgeon who did your surgery.  I'm not exactly sure what he is referring to when he calls it a "split-muscle" technique.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.